One of the reasons so many auto insurance claims are dismissed is because the insurance adjustor thinks you were partially at fault. If there was overwhelming evidence that their customer caused the crash, they’d be more willing to pay. After all, they wouldn’t want to spend thousands of dollars fighting a claim if they knew they would lose in court. When it isn’t clear who caused the accident, the insurance company is more likely to take their chances with a lawsuit. If your claim isn’t paid, you have two choices. You can walk away and accept your fate. Or you can call and talk to an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer.
Your attorney is going to review the evidence and try to determine who caused the accident. If they think it was the other driver, they’ll likely offer to handle your case. If they think you were primarily responsible for the crash, they’ll let you know. No Atlanta car accident lawyer is going to want to file suit when they know their client has no chance of winning. The only way to know what your chances are is to schedule your free, initial consultation with a local accident lawyer.
Atlanta Follows the Modified Comparative Fault Standard
Just because your Atlanta car accident lawyer feels you were partially at fault, that doesn’t mean you can’t file suit. In Atlanta, even if a plaintiff is partially at fault, they may still have a claim for damages. That’s because Georgia follows something called the modified comparative fault standard. This means that you can still file suit as long as you are less than 50% at fault. However, there is a price for being partially at fault. Specifically, your damages will be reduced by your share of the fault.
Knowing this, your Atlanta car accident lawyer will work hard to settle your case. The defendant’s lawyer is well aware of the comparative fault rule. They aren’t going to be willing to pay your entire claim if they know your damages would be reduced in court.
Your Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Needs to Prove Damages
It doesn’t matter who was at fault if your Atlanta car accident lawyer can’t prove damages. You can only demand compensation for injuries you actually suffered. Most car accident lawsuits make a demand for some or all of the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical care
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage’
- Permanent disability
Of course, every case is unique. You may only qualify for a few of these types of damages. If you were only out of work for a few days, you’re not going to be eligible for lost wages or lost future income. Likewise, if your injuries weren’t that serious, you probably won’t receive pain and suffering. Your Atlanta car accident lawyer will discuss what sort of damages you can claim early in your case.
How is Your Compensation Affected if You’re Partially at Fault for the Crash?
As mentioned briefly earlier, if you were partially at fault, your damages will be affected. The way it works is that your damages are reduced by whatever your percentage of fault was. Consider a lawsuit with a claim for damages of $100,000. If the court finds that you were 20% at fault, your damages will be reduced by $20,000. Of course, it will be more complicated than this. However, this gives you a good idea of how the court will apportion fault and award your damages.
There is a Good Chance Your Case Will Settle
Most car accident lawsuits settle. In fact, more than 95% of all personal injury lawsuits settle long before trial. When you’re partially at fault, it makes even more sense for your Atlanta car accident lawyer to settle. Knowing there’s a chance a judge would find you more than 50% at fault, this makes sense. Just keep in mind that the other driver’s attorney understands this as well. Their settlement offer is going to account for the fact that you were partially at fault.
Reach Out to a Skilled Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
If you or your family member are hurt in a car accident, you may need a skilled Atlanta car accident lawyer. You need to focus on getting better and getting the medical care you need. Let your lawyer worry about the legal side of things. Call today and schedule your free, initial consultation.